In a news release published last Tuesday, Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (“MED”) has announced that the state’s cannabis sales have topped $6 billion since the substance’s legalization in 2014. Using statistics from the Colorado Department of Revenue’s final sales and tax data for 2018, the amount includes both medical and recreational cannabis related transactions.
Colorado’s financial milestone was achieved after a record-breaking year. Beating the record previously set in 2017, cannabis sales totaled $1.55 billion for 2018, a roughly $40 million increase from the previous year.1
According to CNBC, after the first year of legalization, Colorado brought in $683.5 million, meaning sales have doubled in the industry’s first four years.2
Separating Colorado’s cannabis in two sectors, roughly $332 million of the received sales were from medical cannabis. The remaining estimate of $1.21 billion were generated by recreational sales, according to the MED’s monthly sale reports for 2018.3
Last year’s record sales have also created a significant amount of tax revenue. According to the MED’s press statement, Colorado amassed over $266.5 million in cannabis taxes, fees, and licensing payments in 2018.4 Since 2014, the state of Colorado’s received tax, licensing and fee revenue is now nearing $1 billion, with the total as of January 2019 climbing to $927 million.
- Rubino, Joe. “Colorado Marijuana Sales Crack $6 Billion since 2014 Legalization, State Says.” The Denver Post. February 12, 2019. Accessed February 14, 2019. https://www.denverpost.com/2019/02/12/colorado-marijuana-sales-6-billion-since-legalization/.
- Daniels, Jeff. “Colorado Legal Pot Industry Sales Grew 3 Percent in 2018, Top $6 Billion since Recreational Use Began.” CNBC. February 12, 2019. Accessed February 14, 2019. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/12/colorado-pot-industry-sales-top-6-billion-since-adult-use-began.html.
- Marijuana Enforcement Division. “Marijuana Sales Reports.” Colorado Department of Revenue. Accessed February 14, 2019. https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/revenue/colorado-marijuana-sales-reports.
- Gray, Shannon. “Colorado Marijuana Sales Top $6 Billion to Date since Adult-use Marijuana Sales Began.” Colorado Department of Revenue. February 12, 2019. Accessed February 14, 2019. https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/revenue/colorado-marijuana-sales-top-6-billion-date-adult-use-marijuana-sales-began-0.